Mark Harper MP came out strongly in favour of the new PM Boris Johnson in his Forest Review article on 6.9.19. “To restore faith in our political system we must get on and leave the EU as soon as possible. Deal or No Deal, No Ifs No Buts”
Di Martin has responded
“Mark Harper asserts that only Boris Johnson ‘can get Brexit done’ and ‘get our country back on the road to a brighter future’. Two years back it was only Theresa May can get Brexit done and build a ‘strong and stable future’. In the time between, a small band of Tories lead by man of the people Rees-Mogg, stood out against the majority of the Tory Party MPs and refused to vote for the deal negotiated by their PM which would have taken the United Kingdom out of the EU on March 31. The subsequent turn around in the Tory party, now in their hands, has resulted in 21 Tory MPs being thrown out of the party – the grandest purge of the century. It has resulted in 1 man, Boris Johnson, elected by 90000 people deciding to shut down the Parliament elected by over 30m. Purges and no Parliament just does not sound like our country – nor should it.
Why are we where we are?
There is a thread of thinking in the Tory party in favour of leaving the EU with no deal. It is that thread which has pushed the us to this point. That tendency is demonising any challenge as anti-democratic and on the ‘other side’. That tendency is careless of the cost.
I am on the side of the people of this constituency. I know that the people of this constituency have lost out. I rather expect our representative to acknowledge it and not just sell us the latest party line. I know that women have seen the value of their wages fall by 21% and men by 8% since the last recession. I know that people over 75 years have lost their free TV licenses. This last weekend, a Newent resident told me that their GP said they could no longer have medicine prescribed by a specialist because it was too expensive. Another told me she had received a call out of the blue to say that the care agency looking after her son, who had complex needs, was handing the contract back because they could not make money.
The value of the pound is down. Investment has stagnated and productivity fallen. The economy has flat-lined. The loss of unfettered access to the EU is not balanced by the trade agreements with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique secured last week. Whatever the long term possibilities, the short term impact of No Deal is assessed by the OECD as pushing us into recession and a 3% contraction in the economy.
What will that mean for class sizes, GP appointment times, end of life care for the elderly, new NHS facilities, a birthing unit in the Forest, public transport.
And Mark you are missing the Mark if you do not warn us of the potential for disruption, here, in the constituency from a No Deal exit. What about the supply of medicines? What about the supply of fuel? What about the cost of food? Obviously people on low incomes will be disproportionately affected by price rises due to scarcity. While many of us feel comfortable, I know that 1 in 4 of people in the constituency are financially stretched.
I get that the likes of Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and you can weather the problems, but I worry that many of your constituents will not.